Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> HERITAGE JUNCTION HISTORIC PARK
SPRR Saugus Depot Set on Block Foundation
Heritage Junction - Hart Park

September 10, 1980 — Rescued from the bulldozer by the 4½-year-old Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, the Southern Pacific Railroad's Saugus depot is set on a block foundation at its new home, Heritage Junction Historic Park, on the "Frew addition" to L.A. County William S. Hart Regional Park in Newhall.

The blocks were donated by Claton Block, a building materials supplier at 25446 San Fernando Road (now Main Street/Railroad Avenue) in downtown Newhall.

Cynthia Neal-Harris (first photo, second from left) chaired the Historical Society's Saugus Station relocation committee.

Photos (35mm color transparencies, Canon F-1 camera) by Tom Mason, the Historical Society's vice president at the time.



Click to enlarge.



Click to enlarge.



Click to enlarge.


The Saugus train station opened Sept. 1, 1887, when the Southern Pacific Railroad completed the spur line to Ventura along the present-day alignment of Magic Mountain Parkway to State Route 126 through Castaic Junction, Camulos, Piru, Fillmore, Santa Paula and Saticoy — where the SP also erected depots or sidings of various size.

The large, two-story Saugus depot followed a standard set of SP blueprints and stood at the southeast corner of present-day Drayton Street and Railroad Avenue (previously San Fernando Road). Tolfree's Saugus Eating House occupied the north side of the depot until 1905 when it moved across the street into its own building and became the Saugus Café.

President Benjamin Harrison stopped over in April 1891, and Theodore Roosevelt was met at the depot by California governor and Acton gold mine owner Henry T. Gage in 1903. Twenty years later, Charlie Chaplin used the depot in "The Pilgrim," and in 1954 another U.S. president was scheduled to stop at the depot but the feds caught wind of an assassination attempt in time. Of course, this last one was Hollywood fiction; the movie was "Suddenly" and the assassin was played by Frank Sinatra. It was filmed entirely in Saugus and Newhall.

Passenger service ended in April 1971 and the last station agent, James "Bob" Guthrie, shuttered the depot for good on Nov. 15, 1978. Facing demolition by the SP, the depot was rescued in 1980 through a fundraising effort organized by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, then just 4½ years old. During the night of June 24-25, 1980, it was moved two miles south to the society's home at Heritage Junction at William S. Hart County Park in Newhall, where its film career continued (e.g., "The Grifters" with John Cusack and Angelica Huston, 1989).

Today the depot is an educational venue for visiting elementary school students and patrons of the SCV Historical Society's lectures and film showings, as well as the home to the society's offices, collections, meetings, and the community's "temporary" history museum while the Pardee House at Heritage Junction is turned into a permanent museum facility.


HS8001: Download original hi-res images here. Color transparencies by Tom Mason courtesy of Cynthia Harris, 2018.
Moving SPRR Saugus Depot

See Also:
• SPRR Saugus Depot


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Press Release 6/3/1980: Depot to Move

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Plot Plan, 3/19/1980

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Depot Move

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Depot Move

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Depot Move

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Depot Move

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Depot Move (Mult.); Donor List

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Baxter Ward,
Scott Newhall

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Baxter Ward,
Scott Newhall

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July 4 Parade 1980

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Excavation

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Excavation

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Set on Foundation 9/10/1980

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Movers: Fred & Robert Simpson

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